MP3 Appreciation

My friend Michelle made it a goal to listen to every song on her iPod a few weeks ago.  She has something like 1,500 songs loaded on it and – frankly – she feels bad that some of them are neglected.  I know how she feels.  I took a look at my computer and was stunned by the fact I have something like 35,000 MP3 files stored on my machine and I have only listened to ten percent of them.  Granted, the play history only measures back about a year or so since I installed MediaMonkey, but I listen to a lot of music in my office.  It’s on in the background when I work from home (it helps drown out the parrots).  I figured it was a good approximation of my musical tastes.

I was surprised I hadn’t spent the last year listening to Prince, Journey or Janis Joplin.  I didn’t listen much to Surfjan Stevens, Steely Dan or the White Stripes.  Even my favorite band – The Beatles – had a number of tracks that hadn’t been accessed from MediaMonkey, and not just Revolution No. 9.  I listened to more music from 1897 than 2008.  I could have sworn I had listened to more Rolling Stones.  I thought I might be confused as to where I heard my music.  It doesn’t measure how many times I listen to something once it’s been dumped to my portable player or burned onto a CD-R for the truck.  Maybe I had heard them all on the radio.  No, that wasn’t right.  I had There She Goes Again stuck in my head a few weeks back.  I know they don’t play The Velvet Underground on NPR.

Even more surprising was what I had been listening to for the past year.  My favorite was the soundtrack from NFL Films.  That made sense; I listened to those tracks over and over while editing Daniel’s football games.  But why the hell had I played Crazy Elephant so much?  Glen Campbell?  I like Wichita Lineman, but – really?  I played it eight times last year?  I only listened to Ray Charles’ One Mint Julep once.  As for Mr. Tambourine Man, the William Shatner version beat out both Bob Dylan and The Byrds by a wide margin.  Of course, he does sound like someone has hit him in the head with a blunt object and he’s staggering around the soundstage spouting out nonsense as the brain damage begins to manifest itself.

I have to admit I feel a little self conscious now about what I’ve been listening to.  I feel I should play a couple of tracks of Bach or Beethoven before I listen to Bananarama (again).  I may have to track through more of my collection of jazz and forego TV theme songs.  Either that, or I need to hack into the MediaMonkey database and wipe out the statistics.  There is such a thing as too much information.



  1. I just checked. I listened to Sing a Song, After the Love Has Gone and Shining Star in the past year, so – go ahead and download away! If you’re embarassed, keep it between you and your iPod; I certainly won’t tell on you 🙂

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